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History and Constitution

Mauritius was known to the Arabs in the 10th century. Discovered in 1505 by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Macarena, the island was occupied successively by the Dutch (1598-1712), the French (1715-1810) and was ceded to Great Britain In 1814 by the Treaty of Paris. On March 12, 1968 Mauritius acceded to Independence; Republic Day was proclaimed on 12 March 1992. The constitution is based on the Westminster pattern, where power rests with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. 

 

Geographic location 

Mauritius is an island of approximately 1,865 square kilometres with 330 kms of coastline almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs, a central plateau and impressive mountains. It is situated in the South West Indian Ocean (20°S/57.5°E) approximately 2,000 kms from Durban, 1,800 kms from Mombasa, 6,000 kms from Perth and 4,700 kms from Bombay. The Central Plateau rises to a level of some 6000 metres marked by extinct volcanic craters, crisscrossed by rivers, streams and waterfalls. Bordering this tableland are three mountain ranges with fantastically-shaped masses of basalt which testity to the origins of the island. From these mountains, several peaks emerge: Piton de la Riviere Noire (828 mts), Pieter Both (823 mts) and Le Pouce (812 mts).

 

Climate 

In the central part of the island, at about 600 metres above sea level, the average maximum day-time temperature varies from about 20°C in August to about 26°C in February. Along coastal areas, the temperatures are generally 3 to 5 degrees higher. The western and northern regions are warmer and relatively drier than the East and the South. A green cover of vegetation is maintained over much of the country throughout the year. For weather forecasts, please phone 3026071.

 

Population 

On 31 December 1999, the population of the island of Mauritius was estimated at 1,145,199 comprising Indo-Mauritians, Creoles, i.e. people of mixed European and African origin and Sino-Mauritians. 

 

Economy 

The Mauritian economy is based on the export of sugar, products from the Export Processing Zone and Tourism. Presently Mauritius is at an industrial crossroads. Since 1989 the Government has established a Stock Exchange the main objective of which is to finance the increased investment needs of the economy. The offshore banking business aims at making Mauritius an offshore financial centre. As a major tourist destination Mauritius has air connections with most of the major European, African and Asian cities as well as Australia and other islands of the Indian Ocean. Its national carrier, Air Mauritius, services 28 different destinations.

 

Customs 

Passengers of 16 years of age !Jnd over may import duty free: 250 grammes of tobacco (including cigars and cigarettes), 1 litre of spirits, 2 litres of wine, ale or beer, one quarter litre of Eau de Toilette and a quantity of perfume not exceeding 10 cl. A plant import permit must be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, prior to the introduction of plants and plant material including cuttings, flowers, bulbs, fresh fruits, vegetables and seeds. All plant material must be declared to Customs immediately on arrival and is subject to examination. It is prohibited, by law, to introduce sugar-cane and parts thereof, soil micro-organisms and invertebrate animals. Facilities for examination and certification of plant materials are available at Le Reduit (Tel: 454-1091 ) and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport offices of the Plant Pathology Division of the Ministry of Agriculture. (Tel: 637- 3194).

All animals including animal material need an import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture and a sanitary certificate of country of origin. All animals must be declared to the Customs Authorities immediately on arrival and landing is allowed if certificates issued by the Veterinary Authorities of the exporting country are in conformity with Import Permit. Dogs and cats undergo a six months' quarantine; birds and other animal species up to 2 months. Firearms and ammunitions must be declared on arrival.

Animal & Plant Inspection & Delivery Permits Agricultural Services - Reduit Tel: 454-1091

 

Entry requirements 

Persons not requiring a visa to enter Mauritius : 

- Citizens of Mauritius

- Persons who are residents of Mauritius under the Immigration Act, 

- The spouse of a citizen of Mauritius. 

- The child or step child or lawfully adopted child of persons referred to at (i) and (ii) above, 

- Holders of Diplomatic passports other than those issued by the Government of Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Sudan, Crew of a vessel travelling on duty or in transit to join another vessel, 

- Holders of Laissez Passer by the United Nations or other internationally recognised organizations, 

- Holders of Laissez Passer issued by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are exempted from visa requirements, 

- Persons who intend to remain in Mauritius only during the stay of a vessel by which they arrived and depart, 

- Such other persons as the Prime Minister's office may approve, 

- Holders of passport issued by the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Brazil (visa up to three months will be issued at the points of entry into Mauritius to the nationals of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay, provided all immi- gration criteria are met with), Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Finland, France, Gam-bia, Germany (United), Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Mozambique (visa up to one month will be issued to citizens of the Republic of Mozambique upon arrival at the point of entry, and the cumulative duration of stay of the above citizens in any calendar year is up to sixty (60) days), Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands; New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Papua-New Guinea, Paraguay, Portugal, Qatar, Samoa (Western), San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, St Christopher, Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Switzerland, Sweden, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (and dependent territories), United States of America, Vanuatu, Vatican, Zambia, Zimbabwe 

- Holders of passports of the mentioned countries including the homelands of any European country may be granted a visa for two weeks on arrival. Any application for extension of stay may be made to the Passport and Immigration Officer, Sterling House, 11-19 Lislet Geoffroy Street, Port-Louis, Tel: (230) 210-9312 to 210-9317 Fax: (230) 210-9322, provided nationals of these countries hold valid return tickets, valid passports or internationally recognised travel documents and have adequate funds to meet the cost of stay: Albania, Bulgaria, Comoros, Ex Czechoslovakia*, Fiji, Hungary, Madagascar, Poland, Romania, Ex USSR** *Ex Czechoslovak Socialist Republic is now composed of : {i) Czech Republic {ii) Slovak Republic. ** Ex USSR, which is now known as Commonwealth of Independent States {CIS), is now composed of: {i) Republic of Armenia, {ii) Republic of Azerbaijan, {iii) Republic of Belarus.{iv) Republic of Kazakhstan {v) Republic of Kyrgystan, {vi) Republic of Moldova, {vii) The Russian Federation {Russia), (vi ii) Republic of Tadjikistan, (ix) Turkmenistan, {x) The Ukraine, {xi) Republic of Uzbekistan, and also {xii) Georgia Former Soviet Republics, presently independent Baltic States: (a) Estonian Republic,{b) Republic of Latvia {c) Republic of Lithuania

Flights
Air Mauritius (National Carriers)
3 weekly flights from London (Heathrow)
1 weekly flight from Manchester
1 weekly flight from Brussels and London
7 weekly flights from Paris (Roissy)
1 weekly flight from Frankfurt
1 weekly flight from Munich
1 weekly flight from Zurich
1 weekly flight from Geneva
1 weekly flight from Vienna
1 weekly flight from Rome(Fiumicino)
2 weekly flights from Johannesburg
2 weekly flights from Johannesburg and Durban
1 weekly flight from Durban-Johannesburg
1 weekly flight from Maputo and Harare
1 weekly flight from Cape Town
1 weekly flight from Melbourne
1 weekly flight from Perth
3 weekly flights from Mumbai
1 weekly flight from Delhi
1 weekly flight from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur
1 weekly flight from Singapore
2 weekly flights from Hong Kong
3 weekly flights from Antananarivo 2 weekly flights from Nairobi
3 weekly flights from Seychelles

Air Austral
Daily flights from Reunion Island. Rodrigues Island

Air France
5 weekly flights from Paris (Charles de Gaulle)
South African Airways
3 weekly flights from Johannesburg
1 weekly flight from Durban and Johannesburg 1 weekly flight from Cape Town and Durban
Air Madagascar
2 weekly flights from Antananarivo
Air Europe
1 weekly flight from Milan -Rome 1 weekly flight from Milan
Swissair
1 weekly flight from Zurich
British Airways
2 weekly flights from London (Gatwick) and Nairobi
1 weekly flight from London (Gatwick)

 

Condor
1 weekly flight from Frankfurt
1 weekly flight from Munich
1 weekly flight from Cologne

 

Air Zimbabwe
1 weekly flights from Harare

 

Air Seychelles
2 weekly flights from Seychelles

 

Singapore Airlines
2 weekly flights from Singapore
2 weekly flights from Johannesburg

 

Air Tanzania
1 weekly flight from Dar-Es-Salaam, Zanzibar and Moroni.
1 weekly flight from Zanzibar, Dar-Es-Salaam and Moroni.